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7 Core Stocks to Build a Solid Portfolio Around

One of the most important things about finding stocks to buy is having a diversified portfolio. You want to spread your money out in different sectors so you’re not hurt if one part of the market suddenly gets into trouble.

Moderation is the key to finding the best stocks to buy, as it is in so many things. Don’t be afraid to try some aggressive plays with a small portion of your nest egg; manage your risk management accordingly.

As with building any layered portfolio, your collection of holdings is only as good as its core. Have a solid core of stocks that you can rely on before you can even think about diversifying with some exotic picks.

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The Portfolio Grader is an outstanding tool for this exercise, as it will help you choose some highly rated core stocks to buy that based on earnings history, analyst sentiment, momentum and other factors.

You’ll enjoy your investing journey more if you know every quarter that you can rely on your core to give you a solid foundation, making these some of the best stocks to buy.

ENPH

Enphase Energy

$210.22

AEHR

Aehr Test Systems

$29.23

CPRX

Catalyst Pharmaceuticals’

$14.64

BP

BP

$39.01

ARDX

Ardelyx

$3.56

ET

Energy Transfer

$12.60

AAC

Ares Acquisition

$10.20

Enphase Energy (ENPH)

mobile phone screen with enphase energy logo on it to represent renewable energy stocks
mobile phone screen with enphase energy logo on it to represent renewable energy stocks

Source: IgorGolovniov / Shutterstock.com

Energy stocks are a great core holding for any portfolio, but you want to mix things up—remember, moderation is the name of the game when choosing the best stocks to buy.

You don’t want to go in too deeply on traditional oil-and-gas stocks, nor do you want to overload on alternative energy.

A great pick for an alternative energy core holding is Enphase Energy (NASDAQ:ENPH).

The company makes microinverter-based solar storage systems, looks to be in a sweet spot and appears to be in a solid position to profit from clean energy incentives coming out of Washington.

Not only that, but ENPH stock is on sale. The stock is down 17% so far this year because investors are more worried about short-term headwinds coming from inflation and the risks of a recession.

But if you’re investing for the long haul, Enphase looks pretty appealing at this price. The pressure for homeowners and businesses to convert to green energy options will only continue to grow, and with it so will Enphase Energy’s potential footprint.

ENPH stock has an “A” rating in the Portfolio Grader.

Aehr Test Systems (AEHR)

White electric car connected to power station charger on green background 3D Rendering. Electric vehicles, EVs, EV stocks.
White electric car connected to power station charger on green background 3D Rendering. Electric vehicles, EVs, EV stocks.

Source: Ilija Erceg / Shutterstock

Semiconductors and electric vehicles are two up-and-coming areas that will make a lot of investors richer if they choose the right stocks. But rather than trying to guess which company will make the best semiconductors or best EVs, why not invest in a company that stands to win no matter who comes out on top?

Aehr Test Systems (NASDAQ:AEHR) constructs the burn-in equipment that’s used to make silicon carbine chips that are most commonly used in EV production. Electric vehicles use thousands of semiconductor chips in every vehicle, so the market for Aehr is pretty big.

The company got a scare recently when Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) announced that it’s creating a new power inverter that will reduce its reliance on silicon carbide. But Aehr says that announcement won’t significantly affect its market.

I would monitor Aehr particularly as it next reports numbers and gives more information on the Tesla situation. If the company’s right in its outlook, then AEHR is once of the best stocks to buy cheaply right now, roughly 7% less than its recent high.

AEHR stock has an “A” rating in the Portfolio Grader.

Catalyst Pharmaceuticals (CPRX)

A magnifying glass zooms in on the website of Catalyst Pharmaceuticals (CPRX).
A magnifying glass zooms in on the website of Catalyst Pharmaceuticals (CPRX).

Source: Pavel Kapysh / Shutterstock.com

Another great sector for investors to find some core picks is pharmaceuticals. The growing and ever-aging population means that there will be an increasing need for research, development and production of new medications.

Catalyst Pharmaceuticals’ (NASDAQ:CPRX) top drug is Firdapse, which is used to treat adults with Lambert-Eaton Myasthenic Syndrome, a rare condition that affects signals sent from nerves to muscles, making them unable to contract properly.

The company earned $57.2 million in the third quarter from Firdapse sales, and $61 million in Q4, which essentially was all the company’s revenue.

So it was a scare for investors last month when Teva Pharmaceutical (NYSE:TEVA) announced plans to launch a generic version of Firdapse. That sent shares of CPRX down 27%.

Fortunately for investors, Catalyst is working on a label expansion for Firdapse, as well as purchasing U.S. rights to an epilepsy treatment developed by Eisai (OTCMKTS:ESAIY).

Management appears to be confident. While the company brought in revenue of nearly $120 million in the second half of 2022, it believes that revenue will grow quickly in 2023.

It’s guiding for full-year 2023 revenue between $375 million and $385 million. That’s a range that’s above analysts’ consensus estimate of $337.63 million.

If Catalyst can hold off the threat from Teva, this is a company worth watching. CPRX stock has an “A” rating in the Portfolio Grader.

BP (BP)

The BP (BP) logo on a sign against a blue sky with clouds
The BP (BP) logo on a sign against a blue sky with clouds

Source: JuliusKielaitis / Shutterstock.com

Also known as British Petroleum, BP (NYSE:BP) is one of the biggest oil and gas companies in the world, with 2022 revenues of more than $241 billion.

BP has been riding high in the last year as oil prices increased and the war in Ukraine threw European energy markets in turmoil. BP stock is up by 33% in the last year, and jumped by 12% just since Jan. 1.

The company’s also growing its footprint, announcing in February that it planned to buy TravelCenters of America (NYSE:TA) and take over its network of fuel stops. The deal is valued at $1.3 billion.

BP recorded its most profitable year ever in 2022, totaling $27.7 billion versus $12.8 billion in 2021. It increased its dividend by 10%, to 6.61 cents per share, and announced it would buy back $2.75 billion in shares.

If you’re looking for a major oil and gas company as a core stock to buy, then BP is a solid choice. BP gets an “A” rating in the Portfolio Grader.

Ardelyx (ARDX)

medicine research, pharmaceutical background, LJPC stock
medicine research, pharmaceutical background, LJPC stock

Source: Sisacorn / Shutterstock.com

Ardelyx (NASDAQ:ARDX) is a pharmaceutical stock that’s having a great 2023 so far. The stock price is still in penny stock territory, at less than $4 per share. But a huge March has it up by 34% so far in 2023.

The catalyst is a huge fourth-quarter earnings report, which showed revenue of $44.18 million that was nearly 4,200% better than a year ago, and beat analysts’ estimates of $23.18 million. The boost came from its successful launch of Ibsrela, which is the brand name for tenapanor to treat irritable bowel syndrome.

But Ardelyx has also filed with the FDA to use tenapanor to treat patients with chronic kidney disease and are on dialysis. If approved, Ardelyx could see as much as $800 million in sales within five years.

If that happens, Ardelyx won’t be a penny stock for long. It currently has an “A” rating in the Portfolio Grader.

Energy Transfer (ET)

Production operator communicate between central control room by using radio to operate ball valve at offshore oil and gas processing platform for control gases and liquid crude oil process. Energy Stocks. CEI stock
Production operator communicate between central control room by using radio to operate ball valve at offshore oil and gas processing platform for control gases and liquid crude oil process. Energy Stocks. CEI stock

Source: Oil and Gas Photographer / Shutterstock.com

If you’re living in the U.S. and have a warm home in the winter, there’s a decent chance that your heat was supplied with the help of Energy Transfer (NYSE:ET).

The company maintains 120,000 miles of pipelines in North America. Those lines are used to transport about 30% of all crude oil and gas in the U.S. over 41 states.

With that kind of infrastructure for such a key commodity, Energy Transfer is an ideal core stock to buy.

The stock performance is solid as well. ET stock is up 9% so far this year, and analysts give it a consensus price target of $16.81, which represents potential 30% growth.

Earnings for the fourth quarter included $20.5 billion in revenue, which was 9.8% greater than a year ago.

Energy Transfer is building a Lake Charles LNG export terminal in Louisiana and also signed sale and purchase agreements with liquified natural gas buyers. That should keep the profits rolling in.

ET stock has an “A” rating in the Portfolio Grader.

Ares Acquisition (AAC)

A picture of a notepad with Special Purpose Acquisition Company written on it, surrounded by office supplies.
A picture of a notepad with Special Purpose Acquisition Company written on it, surrounded by office supplies.

Source: Dmitry Demidovich/ShutterStock.com

Special purpose acquisition companies became quite the investing rage in the last few years. And while the fever for finding new SPACs has dropped a bit, there are still a few that are interesting plays.

One that could make up the core of your investments is Ares Acquisition (NYSE:AAC). Ares’ acquisition target is X Energy Reactor Company, which develops small modular reactors.

SMRs are smaller, safer and less expensive nuclear power generation facilities. And as the world looks for alternatives to oil and gas for power, nuclear power remains a viable option for many.

Shares currently are just over $10, which would be what shares of the newly merged company would be when it trades. Prices will remain in that neighborhood until the merger goes through.

AAC stock has an “A” rating in the Portfolio Grader.

On the date of publication, Louis Navellier had a long position in ENPH, CPRX, BP and ARDX. Louis Navellier did not have (either directly or indirectly) any other positions in the securities mentioned in this article.

On the date of publication, the InvestorPlace Research Staff member primarily responsible for this article had a long position in TSLA. The staff member did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any other positions in the securities mentioned in this article.

Louis Navellier, who has been called “one of the most important money managers of our time,” has broken the silence in this shocking “tell all” video… exposing one of the most shocking events in our country’s history… and the one move every American needs to make today.

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